Now that the Christmas season is almost upon us, itís that time of year to get your tickets to the long-awaited Handel and Haydn Societyís 158th annual Handelís Messiah, conducted by Artistic Director Harry Christophers arriving in Boston next weekend.
This year, three performances are being held at Symphony Hall December 2-4. If you havenít yet seen the show, you are in for a special treat. Artistic Director Harry Christophers returns to Symphony Hall again this season to lead the Handel and Haydn Societyís Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus in Handelís Messiah in the 158th continuous year of performance since the Society began programming the work back in 1854.
Last yearís shows sold out quickly so now is the time to prepare for your tickets in advance of the sure to be yet another sell-out performance. Next weekend, Handel and Haydn will also debut countertenor Lawrence Zazzo and baritone Tyler Duncan. The all North American cast will feature Sarah Coburn, soprano; Lawrence Zazzo, countertenor; Tom Randle, tenor; Tyler Duncan, baritone. On December 25, 1815, The Handel and Haydn Society performed its first selections from Messiah at its inaugural concert, and gave the first complete performance in the United States three years later in 1818.
Be sure to keep an eye out for members of Handel and Haydnís Vocal Apprenticeship Program (a component of the Karen S. and George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program), who will carol throughout the Symphony Hall corridors prior to the performance. Students in grades three through twelve participate in the program, in which they receive vocal training and study music theory and musicianship.
If you canít make it to the Messiah performance, be sure to check out "A Bach Christmas," which is being held at Jordan Hall for two performances on December 15 and 18. In addition, on Sunday December 25, Classical New England, a service of WGBH Radio, will broadcast Handel and Haydnís 2010 performance of Messiah. Additional airings are scheduled for the first week of December, with dates and times to be announced.
Symphony Hall is located at 301 Massachusetts Avenue in Boston. Performances are being held on Friday, December 2, 2011 at 7.30 p.m.; Saturday, December 3, 2011 at 3 p.m. and Sunday, December 4, 2011 at 3 p.m. Tickets range from $25 to $90. For tickets or more information to any of the Handel and Haydn performances, visit HandelAndHaydn.org or call (617) 266-3605. This is one holiday show you arenít going to want to miss!